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Comment We're really discussing this? (Score 1) 429

Remember that one time when rats killed off half of Europe? And we're now discussing how best to hug them until they go night-night?

I do believe in compassion for animals. That means we take no pleasure in their deaths, and protect them from suffering beyond what's necessary for our civilization. I buy cage-free eggs, for example. But humanity must have two aspects - a hand of love, and a fist of justice. Rats are up there with mosquitoes in terms of existential threats to us, so isn't it obvious which side of us they should see?

I am lucky enough to have never seen a rat, in person, in my 37 years, and I realize they are probably important in natural ecosystems. But even still, inside of our settlements, no method of dealing with them would feel off-limits to me. When I first read the headline of this story, I assumed the rats were somehow being tricked into eating the dry ice, and later exploding. I thought, "oh, that's clever! I guess that's why it's on Slashdot."

Comment iOS revenues are ~5X Android for us (Score 2) 166

I am part owner of an established startup doing mobile games aimed at kids. The decision to support Android was always a contentious one for us, and after years of beating our heads against that wall, I wish we had never done it.

I won't get into value judgments or rhetoric about openness - the revenue on Android just isn't even faintly close to iOS. Maybe 20 cents on the dollar on a *good* day. But as you might guess, it's taken up a lot more than 20% of our time. This fact is sometimes presented with undertones that iOS developers are just greedy, but it's literally a matter of survival - for us, Android simply cannot sustain a viable business.

As far as ease of development: the other comments capture it pretty well; both platforms have a lot of annoyances that you have to work around. Compared to my background developing server applications on Linux, I find both platforms shamefully bug-ridden and slapped together, but I wouldn't say that one is noticeably worse in the big picture.

Comment OMG Phylum? (Score 2) 112

"The Actinobacteria phylum includes..." OMG I'm scared! Except that biology classification is a bit over-broad...

Let's review what badasses *our* phylum includes:

- The honey badger.
- The Kodiak bear.
- The goddamned T-Rex.
- that Japanese guy who killed bulls with nothing but karate

In a phylum-off, I'm betting on Team Chordata.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 1) 398

No, that doesn't follow. This "toxic employee" thing isn't a big enough problem for anyone to torch their hard-won career by mounting a discrimination lawsuit that's doomed to fail anyway. I clearly said this does not apply to most minority employees, and was merely making the point that such bad behavior *exists,* not that it's prevalent.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 3, Interesting) 398

This is patently *absolutely* true. I, my wife, and my friends have all directly observed this happening, right out in the open. It doesn't happen with all "disadvantaged" employees, but with problem employees who use their political status as a weapon and veiled lawsuit threat against HR.

To be crystal-clear, I and others close to me have explicitly heard sentences of the form "we can't fire him/her; it's not worth the lawsuit," spoken aloud, by decision-makers, clearly as a matter of policy and not as an off-hand crack, more times than can be considered a fluke.

These "poison pill" employees are a minority among minorities, but they definitely exist, and they ruin things for everyone.

Comment It's not just an environmental issue (Score 1) 195

Energy production has impacts all over our culture and economy - it's short-sighted to look only at the (clearly negative) environmental effects. We also need to consider the job and GDP growth that oil can produce, at a time when our economy badly needs it. Then there are the (clearly positive) national and economic security implications of being energy-independent.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't also have a balls-to-the-wall, fully government-assisted race toward cleaner energy. But we're far from being able to rely on that for more than a small fraction of our needs. The R&D and infrastructure upgrades will take decades, and our only usable "bridge" to get there is to continue burning anything that will hold a flame.

Comment Lawyer up, fast. (Score 1) 99

I am part of a small independent app company as well, and we have been on the opposite side of this issue a couple times. It is just as common, particularly on Android, for low-budget teams (often in third-world countries) to purposely build a confusingly similar product in an attempt to make a few bucks before they get shut down. Honest developers face trolls on both sides.

Half our defense is what steps we've taken to work within our awful, awful system of IP law. Copyrights, trademarks, even a couple patents. The other half is maintaining good relationships with Google and Apple, so that when a problem arises, we can appeal to them quickly. I think both have been absolutely essential.

If you have not spent the time and money to build your legal bullshit-shield, you should do so ASAP but be prepared that you may take some heavy losses before the dust settles - your troll has home-turf advantage here.

Comment Re:Who thinks certification is "ironclad"? (Score 1) 296

Good grief, it's a resume point system. It's *supposed* to be over-simplified and callously reduce all the richness of a human being's life efforts to a single, faceless number. Its sole job is to efficiently extract a strong team from a given applicant pool, and do it fast enough to get the best applicants before other companies do, as well as not wrecking the team's productivity interviewing every candidate under the sun. A willingness to search for hidden gems may sound fair-minded, but it doesn't have a good outcome.

And, I hate to say it, since this will likely not help build agreement, but my startup-focused point system also explicitly dings freelancers, as well as former non-military government workers. So, despite your likely objection to this, hopefully you'll grant that the system is at least internally consistent.

Comment Re:Who thinks certification is "ironclad"? (Score 1) 296

No, I wouldn't interview you because you mis-interpreted what I said to mean "no interview," rather than a -2 score for a single resume line item, as well as assuming me to be a manager, which I didn't say I was. Engineers need to be precise thinkers. Otherwise, though, I'm sure the rest of your extensive resume would have added up to a pretty good number in my made-up system.

The reason why your certification is both good, and still irrelevant to the posting, is that a pro-serv contractor is a completely different beast than a normal software engineer. Someone being put in front of customers certainly should have all the "pieces of flair" that impress customers, regardless of what they actually represent. My only assertion is about interviewing pure software engineers, which the OP would seem to be about.

Comment Re:Certifications are fine (Score 1) 296

This is not about Google - I do not work there. I have not for a long time. I mentioned them solely for their study on certification. And FYI, the Google employees in my group were pissed about the trash-can thing too.

Your final sentence, about each company having its own unique needs, supports my point that one-size-fits-all certifications are BS.

Comment Re:Certifications are fine (Score 1) 296

Yeah...accounting turns out to be a different field than software. I am not saying that sheriffs shouldn't be certified in firearms, or surgeons shouldn't be certified by the medical board. But in the specific field of software engineering, certification is a (mostly) sure sign of reduced competence.

Furthermore, I have spent the vast majority of my career (and all of those hundreds of interviews and resume reviews) outside of Google. My personal experience, which I will back up with the firmest of conviction, is that filling an office full of XXX-certified software engineers involves basically the same level of intelligence as buying Powerball tickets.

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